by Clint Margrave
. . .there are tremendous reproductive benefits to being a winner
and tremendous reproductive penalties for being a loser.
–David M. Buss
It is said that the male red deer
grows a large body and antlers
to endure greater success in mating,
the very same traits that make it
vulnerable to an early death.
Between the ages of 16-28
the human male has a mortality
rate nearly 200 percent higher
than the female, stemming from
his own evolved sexual psychology,
a result of the fierce competition for a mate.
Not unlike the red deer,
the human male who risks the most,
experiences the greatest reproductive outcome,
and is, therefore, most likely to avoid
that lonesome punishment we call
Clint Margrave lives in Long Beach, CA. His first full-length collection of poems, The Early Death of Men, has recently been published. His work has also appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Quarterly, Rattle, Ambit (UK), 3AM (UK), Pearl, Serving House Journal, Word Riot, and Nerve Cowboy, among others. You may find this poem in The Early Death of Men, copyright © 2012, NYQ Books.